Tuesday, July 26, 2016

TK's Mid-July Fly Fishing Report

Mid-July Fly Fishing Report – Traverse City

The dog-days of summer are upon us with warm weather and the Cherry Festival behind us.
The trout fishing has been up and down. Tricos are becoming more reliable on the Manistee and Boardman Rivers and will build over the month offering dry fly fishing for those looking to hit the water in the a.m.  These small bugs are ideal for those 3 and 4 wt. rods you don’t use too often. The various terrestrials and attractors are becoming more effective each day and also will build – these windy days have blown ants, beetles and other insects onto the water and the brook trout and brown trout have noticed.
Those fishing in the evening and up until dark has been witnessing sporadic hatches of Isonychias, Great BWO, Light Cahills, a few caddis and little yellow sally stone flies.  Now that we are on the other side of the Hex Hatch, it’s time to adjust our fishing after two months of evening fishing – you can learn more by reading “Trout Fishing After the Hex Hatch.”
Bass fishing on the lakes has been a lot of fun now that the weed growth is making it easy to find where the fish are laid up. Diving frogs, poppers and some baitfish streamers fished on a floating line can help you find a largemouth bass.  Like always, target the structure of weeds, docks and drop offs. Try fishing deer hair sliders on a clear sink-tip line for a great presentation along drop-offs – most often they can’t help but eat those flies.
Those same lakes and ponds where you find bass will provide lots of opportunity for panfish and bluegill. While the big gills are off deep and pretty much out of reach for the fly angler, the smaller fish are offering plenty of opportunity to bend the rod.  These fish are perfect for new and developing anglers as they offer endless opportunities to set the hook and bring them in while on a beautiful northern Michigan lake.
Smallmouth bass fishing on the Lower Manistee is increasing with the warm water and temperatures. These fish love a streamer fished on both floating line and sink-tips. While not for beginners, they offer a fun target for those looking to spend a day on the water.
There are a few Carp in Grand Traverse Bay but they have been highly difficult to pin down and predict – especially with all the wind we have been dealing with lately. The higher water of the bay has made fishing more difficult than years past but those shallow spots should have the occasional fish move through them. Consider fishing further north where the water is cooler. The majority of the season is behind us still leaving us realizing that we know less about these mysterious fish than we think.
Good luck and stay cool (on water).

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